She had been here twice before, once with an ankle injury, the other time for neck pain. I treated her ankle: she successfully recovered from an anterior talo-fibular ligament sprain. Another therapist treated her neck, but she did not respond as well.
When I would treat her ankle, she would always cringe at the lightest of touch, but her complaints were inconsistent: her pain was easily distracted and she tied her high-tops tightly without complaint. Even when she was in pain, she carried on with a smug smirk on her face that defied her complaints. I attributed some of her difficulties to a documented history of depression and anxiety. Perhaps she was attention seeking, but I am not trained in such things; I simply treated her ankle. Despite my best efforts, she was frustrating and refused to take any accountability for getting better. Luckily, she got better, anyway.
She would not take accountability for her neck, either. I once overheard her refuse to do any exercise and demand massage from her therapist. She spoke with an indignation in her voice that would infuriate the most empathetic clinician, “[Massage] is the only thing that will help.”
Admittedly, I was happy to see that she was not on my schedule this day; I was already tired. But I was saddened to read her prescription. I shook my head in dismay.
They had searched for a label, and they found it. She is not yet a teenager; I would not wish her fate on anyone.